Maca is a cruciferous root vegetable which grows in the high altitudes and harsh conditions of the Peruvian Andes. It's enjoyed by the locals as a food and is prized as a nutrient dense botanical beneficial to reproductive health among other things. I personally like Maca root for its butterscotchy flavor and energy boosting qualities and have used it successfully to quit coffee.
You can use Maca in a variety of ways such as adding it to baked goods, sprinkling on oatmeal, or putting it in smoothies. If you don't care for the taste but want the health benefits, you can take it in capsule form (always check with your doctor first).
Whole World Botanicals is an environmentally and socially responsible company with a fascinating backstory. Created by American anthropologist Dr. Viana Muller and Peruvian Elena Rojas-Martinez to "to serve people who have been disconnected from the land and its healing plants by making available the purest, most potent, organic and wildcrafted herbs, grown and used by people with strong roots in their native soil and culture," they offer a line of noteworthy Peruvian botanicals.
Whole World Botanicals' Royal Maca differs from another Maca I've tried in that it is cooked. I can't really tell the difference, I like them both, but it might interest some to know that this is the traditional form in which it's used. Dr. Muller explains that this is how the locals use Maca, noting that she has never seen a peruvian use raw Maca.
Dr. Muller is a true pioneer. How many women do you know that go into the Amazon region to help out with the harvesting of herbs for their own botanical company? It all started during a research trip twenty years ago, when Muller discovered Cat's Claw in the Peruvian rain forest. That was the beginning of her journey into Peruvian botanicals. In 1994 she discovered Maca, and spent the following two years researching it.
Eventually, she teamed up with Rojas-Martinez, a Peruvian midwife with a family history of herbal knowledge and healing, and the two created Whole World Botanicals. I have great admiration for what these women have been able to accomplish and love to support companies that are a positive force in the world. You can check them out HERE.